Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Babybats today vs early baby bats

I was a teenager in the mid to late nineties. I made some embarrassing wardrobe choices. In fact, if you want a good laugh, read this!

As a kid, I had some older friends take me under their proverbial goth bat wings and helped steer me in the a less embarrassing direction. I had to also work hard. I kept an open mind and valued their wisdom. I listened to what they had to say because I was new in the scene and knew that if I wanted to be part of the subculture, I should learn what it was all about. Having learned about it's roots, the music, the aesthetic, literature, I loved it and with my obsession with the macabre, I knew that I was always a goth. Back then, we had  goth stores in my area (they are still around, one of them is still open from my baby bat days!) The clothing is expensive so I had to learn how to DIY some clothing because as a teenager, I had a very limited, almost non-existent income!

Back when I was a kid, just like it is for the kids today, everyone told me it was a phase. I will grow out of it. In fact, they were right. There was a time, I went "normal" but deep down, I knew who I really was. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. That hasn't changed much from what I hear except...

Now, this is going to make me sound old. Kids today have it so much easier than we did back then. I never thought I would be giving that age old speech about "when I was your age, I used to walk in 10 feet of snow..." but here it is:

Thanks to the Internet, blogs, vlogs, how-to guides, babybats can have access to all kinds of information at their fingertips. Want to show off how goth you are? No need to learn about the subculture! Get all gothed up and earn goth cred by how many "likes" or "shares" you get.

I recently posted about my son's daycare grad photos and how I ranted about society has low standards. No need to apply yourself, as long as you tried! Well, if kids today have this kind of mentality, what about the future of the goth scene?

I guess you can say, I am jealous. Jealous that they can sit in the comfort of their homes or schools or on their mobile devices and get all this information while I had to work my ass off for the same thing. I had to find a part time job to afford all the music I wanted. How convenient it is today with youtube! There are even playlists for babybats that introduce them to music!

Kids, you have it easy and I bet you are tired of hearing this. Learn about the subculture and its roots. I know I sound like a broken record. You may not like it all and that is ok. Most importantly, while I do understand money is hard to come by,  try to put some money back into the scene.Keep it alive. Ignore the "likes" and the "shares" and experience the subculture. Go for a walk or a picnic in the cemetery, buy books/music and when you are old enough, go to a club.

I bet I sound like an ass for posting this and I have brushed up on this subject before. We will blame it on senility!  Now get the hell off my lawn and into a nice walk through a cemetery!!!

13 comments:

  1. Eh. Better on the internet where you can get many opinions, listen to a variety of music, watch everything, etc. than the jerk at the goth record store. The only thing I don't like about the internet goths is the opinion that there's one right way. When you were the one goth kid in town, you could make it whatever you want. You weren't compared to the adoras, Felices, and other 'style icons' of the internet. My husband made do with a woman's silk blouse and I shopped at the army surplus store.... We'd look like fools by today's standards. I enjoyed being ignorant of the world wide goth community in my teens. Now I feel like there's too much pressure on these kids to be 'proper'. I can't imagine they are having fun. Woah now I'm rambling like an old person. G2g I think I see some kids on my lawn

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  2. Ha ha, I started a zine called Strange People Anonymous with a friend. The best feature we had was called "Interview with an inanimate object" :p The proceeds went to tapes... CASSETTE TAPES!!! But I think I'm a wee bit older than you and was all intro-gothy-goth in the late 80s.

    I'm a little bit opposite. Instead of yelling at the kids, I toast to their ability to find what I couldn't. Shit, I had to drive two hours for purple hair dye. And then our gothiest mall shop, Up Against the Wall, went hiphop in the 90s. So much for the noose earrings and eyeball rings. Although I, like you, will say that we had it better. I mean we had letters written from our loves LETTERS! In ink with doodles and smells! No texting, no internet noise, no email. We met at concerts, wrote addresses on each others' arms in eyeliner and then we waited (and waited) for the first letters to come. Man, those were the days. I wouldn't have wanted to see the Facebook posts of the boys I was dating... and today's youth has no sympathy for my $200 phone bills (working class family... I can still hear my dad grounding me! Oy! Now I understand that that WAS a hardship) because my boyfriend lived in DC.

    Crap... I'm totally going to yell at the kids on the lawn too :-/

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    1. LOL I remember cassette tapes.I remember how annoying it was to fast forward or rewind because I wanted to listen to a specific song!

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  3. I think with the ease of information availabilty, there is also a huge potential to disturb or mislead people. As 1666 X 30, I think many webpages propagate that there is one true way to be goth. This hinders young individuals to experiment and find themselves as "being goth" is like a certain recipe for them. They - unlike us- do not have to struggle to find the latest album, but they have a harder time to deviate from the path we walked before.

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  4. I had the internet but I also had my mum hanging over my shoulder so I couldn't talk to weirdos on Goth chat sites and yelling at me over alternative cds so I had to learn most of my stuff after I moved out.

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  5. How do you mean 'puting money back into the scene?'

    In my opinion 'scene' and 'subculture' bear an entirely different meaning to the newer generations - not only goths and babybats, but basically everyone that grew up on the internet...
    Besides 'it's just a phase...', people often say, that goths only seek attention and I think - just my thoughs - that today's babybats do just that; Why would they invent newer and newer substyles for other, than trying to express their uniqueness? Don't take me wrong, it's not necessarily a bad thing, times change...but retailers - even mainstream bands - take advantage of it: I think, everything subculture - or, to draw a parallel: fandom - related - art, books, records, events and especially clothing - is so overpriced that it feels like profiteering to me...It's kinda upsetting, that a good book or a piece of clothing costs about 10% of my average salary...

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    1. Wow I guess I am that old because I was referring to both! Is there really a difference? What I meant by putting money into the scene isnt just by buying clothes or going to venues but actually purchasing albums vs downloaded them for free. Perhaps I could have been more specific.

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  6. haha, so even though i was no teenager in the 90's (ok, turned 13 in 1999...) i still remember the warm feeling and wise words of my 'bat parents' (= gothy people that introduced me to their caves, hearts and words) definitely am a bit jealous of easy internet knowledge but as said, probably makes it even more difficult to find yourself / takes away a lot of creativity, too :-/

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  7. I really wish I was older so that I would have been there and experienced all that too! Just yesterday I was thinking how cool it must have been before when people would sit in their rooms and be completely isolated, listening to their music that they worked hard to buy, and maybe read a book or something, but not much more than that. Nowadays, even if I spend the whole day in my room, I'm NEVER isolated, I can never get through a day without searching on Google for new bands, discovering new artist through Spotify and last.fm, etc. I agree that it's really easy for us nowadays, but I can't say I don't like it this way (although I sometimes really want to delete all my accounts on every social network) because it brought me a lot of stuff I wouldn't get anywhere else. Basically, I wouldn't be myself. Okay, I think I said too much and got kinda out of the subject, I'm sorry, haha.

    When it comes to learning about the subculture, I keep on searching, from time to time, different sources, to try to absorb as much as I can. Although I don't consider myself a goth (not because I don't want to, but because I really don't think I know enough about the subculture to be part of it), I enjoy reading about it and trying to get closer to something I admire so much. And the only reason I don't spend much money with it is because it's really difficult to find goth stuff in Brazil, and when I do, it's really expensive and I'm only a student, the only money I have goes to food and books and stuff like that, HAHAH. Also, the only venues in my town that are somewhat rock themed play mostly Metallica and glam rock covers, which isn't something I appreciate so much. There's a party that is goth themed though, but it's only once a year and lately it has been really weak (it was bigger before), so I don't know if it will last. :(

    Oh my, what a giant comment. I'm sorry, HAHA.

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  8. They may have it easier today, but I'll bet they're not having NEARLY as much fun! I didn't find my goth side until a few years ago, so I went through my babybat stage in my 40s. I WISH I had known about the goth scene in my 20s when I lived in San Francisco, even though I would have had to sneak around my mom to do anything! However, better late than never, and I do appreciate being able to find things fairly easily on the internet, including many goth friends! :-)

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  9. As usual this has both good and bad sides. The experiance being able to finaly afford a new album and then isolating yourself in your room while listening to it on repeat is lost forever. Also having older goths taking babybats under their wings are important to the subculture.
    On the other hand we have those that live in small places and never find out about goth. Being able to go online and see that their are other people out their like you, and that their even is a name for it (other than weirdo or freak or whatever kids are calling eachother these days) has probably helped a lot of people. You no longer have to listen to the one CD you found at the mall, but can discover the richness of bands that are out there, and get lots of inspiration for clothing, makeup and style.
    All in all though I think it is tougher today. Since you can find the "answer" online, their is less room for experimenting and deviating, and there is a feeling that you have to be "perfect" before entering the scene. (I don't think goths think this way, but I think a lot of uncertain teenagers do.) The experimenting and "finding oneself" is a large part of becoming goth, in my opinion. Without this is easly just becomes an estetical thing, and not a whole lifestyle.

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